Celcom in positive progress for 5G deal with DNB as deadline edges closer

The negotiations on shareholding agreements and shares subscriptions are also moving in the right direction


AXIATA Group Bhd said its mobile arm, Celcom Axiata Bhd, is progressing well in the acquisition of shares in 5G network provider Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) as the deadline draws closer.

Its joint-acting CEO Vivek Sood said the group is progressing in completing the agreement for both the commercial side and equity investments.

“I can say that the discussions and the direction are positive. We are actually very confident in this effort of ensuring 5G is made available to consumers as fast as possible,” Vivek told a media briefing following Axiata’s results announcement for its second quarter of 2022 (2Q22) today.

He said the negotiations on shareholding agreements and shares subscriptions with DNB are also moving in the right direction.

“As far as the ownership is concerned, we understand that it is going to be equal, based on the participation,” he said.

He noted that both Celcom and Digi.Com Bhd are having separate discussions on the matter following their merger plans, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, he also did not see any impact to the group’s balance sheet from the acquisition with DNB.

To note, Axiata has posted a second straight quarter loss of RM106.38 million in the latest quarter under review (2Q22) and net loss of RM42.97 in 1Q22.

“I don’t think the requirement of funding on equity for DNB is anything significant compared to the overall balance sheet. So, I don’t see that to be a concern for us,” he added.

The telecommunication group said it has plans in leveraging the group’s balance sheet and improving its cashflows moving forward.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz has previously stated that the deadline for mobile network operators to agree on the terms related to the 5G shares acquisition in DNB will be on Aug 31.